Dear Software Designers,
You want me to use your software. You make money when I use you. How about thinking about me – THE USER – the consumer – the person with the money?
Software companies love subscription services. Pay me every month, forever. As a language learner, I have been paying quite a few companies every month to use their software. Two examples of that are zKorean $5/month to use their dictionary and LingQ $10/month to use their foreign text reader. Memrise would like me to pay $9/month for their flashcards.
However, there are choices.
I could replace LingQ with FLTR. I could replace zKorean with Naver’s dictionary. I could replace Memrise with Anki.
LingQ redesigned their discussion boards, and I stopped participating in the LingQ community because I disliked the new design. Now Memrise has made significant changes, and I am considering dropping them as well for their poor redesign.
It isn’t easy to change the software you have made a part of your daily routine. The more you have stored your own personal data on a site, the harder the switch. I have thousands of flashcards on Memrise and hundreds of text and audio files in my LingQ lessons. Yet at this new year, I am considering making changes.
I have resisted developing my own software for studying, but perhaps this will be the year I turn my back on the alternatives which require monthly expenses and change on their whim with little concern for its impact on the user.
Do I need you software? The answer might very well be NO.